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April 1st, 2018, 12:43
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
(going back to Feb)

Hmm, I don't know if money could be used alone but it could be a much bigger part. Perhaps a society that considered anyone with money to be favored by the gods, no matter how they got that money? I don't know - there would have to be some rules or the society would turn into a murder-fest. It's got possibilities, though.
The irony in this may be too subtle for some readers…
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April 3rd, 2018, 11:17
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Perhaps a society that considered anyone with money to be favored by the gods, no matter how they got that money?
Sounds like a plot for a novel with a Mafia-like organisation believing they are favoured by God … Horrible thought, to be frank.

On the other hand … Just take a look at Phex from TDE. There, however, accumulating wealth without giving something of it away is considered as being infested by the demonic counterpart of Phex.
Phex is not the god of wealth in that setting, but of cunningness.
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August 14th, 2018, 17:54
Within the main railway station of Cologne, Germany, today the very first advertising
banner from a firm at the Games Com was raised.

Later, in a press & bookshop there, I was holding a game magazine in my hands called WASD.

It's headline was : "Krieg und Spiele" ("War and Games")

It included for example one article headline of "War and games grow together. And we are participating" [Translation by me; "grow together" in the sense of "grow into one".]

The mag also included a report of the ITSEC fair. Which apparingly has lots of war games in it.

Another report was about Neonazis and other extremists loving war games.

I think I'll buy that magazine tomorrow.
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September 2nd, 2018, 14:12
… Again, I'm wondering these days, … why aren't there any Adventure games out there anymore ?

Yes, here in Germany, they are still produced, but outside of this … ?

Yes, Indies do produce some, but outside of this … ?

What has actually changed so much that … this generation - these generations … just don't play them anymore ?

What, I thought today, if there was sheer mass ? I mean, I feel kind of overwhelmed by the sheer mass of shooters, and other ego-games.

I mean, around the Games Com, 90 % of all advertisement posters were about shooters and games of nearby genres.

It's like … overflowing people with a sheer mass of advertisement posters … Would people rather buy a game the more post4ers they see about it ? Like … beginning to follow a fashion ?

Are shooters a fashion in gaming today ? I think … I think so.

Why are people looking so much down on Adventure games these days ? Why do they consider these games as lame and uninteresting ?

What kind of psychology has changed throughout these decades so that Adventure games are rather frowned upon today, but were a big thing during the Sierra and LucasArts days ?

What has changen WITHIN the people that they are frowning upon ALL games that don't provide any adrenaline ? Any action ? Why <are gangsta rap music albums at the top of Germany's current music charts ? I tend to believe that there actually IS a connection between these two things … And why are hooligans becoming so strong again ?

Is this an igantic psychological experiment ? Training young people to LOVE and maybe even get ADDICTED to adrenaline ?

If this is such an gigantic - though unwillingly started - experiment, then it is very unlikely that greed-oriented companies are realizing what they are doing.

All they do is "provide gamers with games that they love".
This eerily reminds me of an experiment in which rats could have - at least my memory tells me so - "good feelings" or was it even orgasms ? by doing something … And in the end, when giving the choice between food and that, they would rather starve themselves to almost death instead up giving these experiences …

I do fear that this gigantic experiment is odf a xsimilar scale : We are given - out of greed, corporation greed - things which we want - but we are degenerating in that. We unlearn to get along with OTHER things. We unlearn to live WITHOUT adrenaline.

Because of that I was quite surprised to see that I'm not the only one seeing that.
The NPC factions of AOW : Planetfall reads exactly like this, bold printing by me :

The Spacers – Mutated descendants of the urban populations. Their society and religion were shaped by gaming culture, as the empire population was entertained extreme VR experiences. With the networks gone, they seek their thrills in the physical world.
This is to me like the current … I call it "hooliganism" : Seeking the rush of Adrenaline in the physical world.

And now, this is becoming a perfect conspiracy theory : Are gaming companies which follow the trail of money and give us as as much adrenaline as we want in fact training us into becoming adrenaline-addicted human beings ?
Are they responsible for "hooliganism", too ?
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September 2nd, 2018, 17:12
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
… Again, I'm wondering these days, … why aren't there any Adventure games out there anymore ?
On PC? There are, just not as many. A new one based on masterpiece series Blacksad is coming.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacksad
Blacksad is a comic album series created by Spanish authors Juan Díaz Canales (writer) and Juanjo Guarnido (artist), and published by French publisher Dargaud.

Guarnido and Díaz Canales have received several prizes for the series, including three Eisner Award nominations in 2004,[4] two Eisner Award wins in 2013,[5] and an Angoulême Prize for Artwork.[6][7]
As you might have guessed, I have all 5 stories. Hardcovers of course. Each separate - it's on my language and not Dark Horse's translation nor 3stories collection.

Other than that, sadly, the market is full of cheap hidden object garbage and microtransactions scam, especially on phones and tablets. Why? Because people didn't say no. And you'll continue seeing heaps of those until people stop paying to be scammed.
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September 2nd, 2018, 19:28
Well, my point was a little bit different … advertising as well, for example. You just don't see ANY advertisements in gaming magazines, on RL posters, or otherwise for games like … well, there's not much to choose from these days, isn't it ?

Hidden Object games are in my opinion only the niche that got opened by just not producing any casual Adventure games anymore. Lighter riddles, for example.
For example I read about Deponia that it starts with hard riddles. Sounds to me like filtering out hardcore players right from the start.

I didn't play Deponia yet, because mainly of the graphics style. I just don't like it.
I just bought it cheaply and give it a try, however.

If there were Adventure games rather telling good stories than using hard riddles, then they might even get considered as "visual novels" ! But today, I get the feeling as if Adventure games were rather riddle-heavy … and those who don't like that rather prefer hidden objects.
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September 8th, 2018, 11:49
Okay, this went a bit into a rant, but this is what I just wrote about "SWTOR gouing back into the Empire vs. Republic" setting (see the new roadmap for that) :


Me, personally, from an narrative perspective, any universe / setting containing an perpetual wheel of war is a nightmare.

Not only does it reflect RL too much (there's a newer scientific study saying that if a person profits from a war *personally* , then he or she will press others into continuing this war even if the war itself is disasterous for the whole society - but it is also a thing giving not much diversity of stories to tell, because sooner or later ANY story told in such a setting will result in war - or being touched by war.

This is good for people who do like these kinds of stories to be told, good fpr people who do like war settings, but not me.

My very personal suspicion that people rather prefer such a war / conflct driven story in the Star Wars universe is that, because of cultural bias they just cannot imagine a conflict-less setting or environment. And because of that, people consider such an Alliance as "lame", because they simply are not able a conflict-free world.

I especially imagine the U.S. culture to be like this. The U.S. culture is mainly a culture about and around conflict, Frontier, and the conflict arising from The Frontier. I doubt that - and this is my cultural prejudice - U.S. americans are able to imagine any conflict-free world, because they are just not culturally grown up with sich a thing as a "non-conflict". And everyone knows how much U.S. games dominate the WORLD market for video games …

From this perspective, I'm just not surprised at all about this "thank you for bringing CONFLICT" back into this game",
because I rather think that many people, especially from the U.S. , are victims of the illusion that Star Wars is a setting about nothing but war. There is enough proof to say that George Lucas probably never intendet Star wars to be a setting of perpetual, neverending war, but some fans do believe so - and they make other fans believe the same.

In a world so much dominated by conflict cultures ( remember that the U.S. culture was able to invent the name "PEACEMAKER"for a GUN !!!!! - and many of them even believe that this is the *natural* way to make peace with / to someone ! ) , it is normal that societies influenced by a conflict culture end up in preferring conflict in their own cultures as well. I call this a part of "cultural imperialism" : Influencing other cultures so much that they take ofer culture elements from the influencing (often dominating) culture.

And this is what forms games, world-wide, formed by being developed by developers coming from a conflict culture.

And this is why combat-free Adventure games just are neither made nor bought anymore, in my opinion.
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September 11th, 2018, 19:59
… Just another case : The game's DVD is empty. Except for Steam.

The whole game is so much uninteresting.

Interesting is only Steam and how to get it onto the harddisk.

The game can be downloaded later, by the way.

Or not, when Steam doesn't exist anymore, all you'll have on that game CD will be Steam - but not the game.
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September 11th, 2018, 20:08
I do believe there is a big culture influence or - interesting way to put it - "cultural imperialism" when it comes to the American culture. But that said, what are we supposed to do about it. Everyone copies us and I guess we are considered as the "cool kids" among the world high school, if you get my drift. At the same time, we often are subjects of ridicule and scorn among people in foreign countries, who make fun of us and say we are dummies and so on. I have seen this sentiment often online on the internet. Anyway, we can't win, in a way.

As far as Star Wars, that is way way overrated and I wish they had stopped being so popular. My two cents. I will diss Star Wars all day, the only good movies were the original trilogy, and especially the first two movies.
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October 7th, 2018, 13:57
What makes me often wonder is why the name Baal, in its various variations like in the (A)D&D "Bhaal", or in use by Blizzard, has turned from a friendly babylonian god into such a monstrosity. I can only explain that via the christian belief that everything connected to Babylon was against the early Jews.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baal

To me, this sounds very much like a late revenge against the babylonian people for what they - or rather : their rulers - did against the folks of the Bible.

What disturbs me even more is that names of the far, far more brutal Aztec and other south american gods are never used to create names for role-play setting monstrosities. Not even Blizzard did that, even although they were and are always ready to raid names from different ancient cultures … Blizzard has even dared to turn a rather friendly person (possible even a historical person) ("a wise king of Crete") into a monstrosity in D2, too : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhadamanthus
But no south american names.

I mean, where does this come from ? Turning non-evil gods and persons into monstrosities ? Meanwhile leaving the really monstrous gods totally alone ?

Not Xipe Totec , not Tezcatlipoca , even although they are known for quite brutal rites.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xipe_Totec

Human sacrifice[Bearbeiten]

Various methods of human sacrifice were used to honour this god. The flayed skins were often taken from sacrificial victims who had their hearts cut out, and some representations of Xipe Totec show a stitched-up wound in the chest.[38]

"Gladiator sacrifice" is the name given to the form of sacrifice in which an especially courageous war captive was given mock weapons, tied to a large circular stone and forced to fight against a fully armed Aztec warrior. As a weapon he was given a macuahuitl (a wooden sword with blades formed from obsidian) with the obsidian blades replaced with feathers.[39] A white cord was tied either around his waist or his ankle, binding him to the sacred temalacatl stone.[40] At the end of the Tlacaxipehualiztli festival, gladiator sacrifice (known as tlauauaniliztli) was carried out by five Aztec warriors; two jaguar warriors, two eagle warriors and a fifth, left-handed warrior.[38]

"Arrow sacrifice" was another method used by the worshippers of Xipe Totec. The sacrificial victim was bound spread-eagled to a wooden frame, he was then shot with many arrows so that his blood spilled onto the ground.[39] The spilling of the victim's blood to the ground was symbolic of the desired abundant rainfall, with a hopeful result of plentiful crops.[41] After the victim was shot with the arrows, the heart was removed with a stone knife. The flayer then made a laceration from the lower head to the heels and removed the skin in one piece. These ceremonies went on for twenty days, meanwhile the votaries of the god wore the skins.[42]

Another instance of sacrifice was done by a group of metalworkers who were located in the town of Atzcapoatzalco, who held Xipe Totec in special veneration.[43] Xipe was a patron to all metalworkers (teocuitlapizque), but he was particularly associated with the goldsmiths.[44] Among this group, those who stole gold or silver were sacrificed to Xipe Totec. Before this sacrifice, the victims were taken through the streets as a warning to others.[43]

Other forms of sacrifice were sometimes used; at times the victim was cast into a firepit and burned, others had their throats cut.[39]
No, neither Blizzard nor any other role-playing company used that name for an in-game monstrosity.

Instead, they used rather friendly mediterranean names.

I see a bias and prejudice there in this naming.
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October 7th, 2018, 14:44
At the bottom of that wikipedia article you linked to, it has the entry "Baal the Demon". Perhaps this has also influenced the negative impression of the name too.

Baal is one of the seven princes of Hell in 17th-century goetic occult writings. The name is drawn from the Canaanite deity Baal mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the primary god of the Phoenicians.

In this hierarchy, Baal (usually spelt "Bael" in this context; there is a possibility that the two figures aren't connected) is ranked as the first and principal king of Hell, ruling over the East. According to some authors, Baal is a Duke with sixty-six legions of demons under his command.

During the English Puritan period, Baal was either compared to Satan or considered his main assistant. According to Francis Barrett, he has the power to make those who invoke him invisible, and some other demonologists claim his power is stronger in October. According to some sources,[citation needed] he can make people wise, and speaks hoarsely.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baal_(demon)
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October 7th, 2018, 16:24
Well, that explains a lot.

Me, I'm talking from an Archaeology perspective. You know, Archaeology (passively) is my favourite hobby next to reading and writing.

From that perspective, Baal is nothing more than a "weather god", not as friendly as one would think (including me), but no better than Zeus, maybe.
And no-one would place Zeus as a monstrosity into a game. Hm, well, on the other hand, it could be possible, considering how much names are used for in-game figures …

Baal must have had quite an effect on people, considering the things mentioned by you above … The earlier Jews must have felt very angry about the people from the Babylon areas. And especially about their gods and the rulers.

Sargon is another infamous name … Strange that this name didn't reappear again as well, in contrast to Rhadamantus. The assyrian rulers were quite brutal, too.
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December 23rd, 2018, 14:17
Just found via the almighty "TV Tropes" site :

"Why Do Supervillains Fascinate Us? A Psychological Perspective" : https://www.wired.com/2012/07/why-do…-fascinate-us/

For example :

Conditioning: Ivan Pavlov would say we can learn to associate supervillains with other things we value – like entertainment, strength, freedom or the heroes themselves. Behaviorist B.F. Skinner would likely argue that we can find it reinforcing to watch or read about supervillains, but without knowing what's reinforcing about them, that's a bit like saying it's rewarding because it's rewarding.
Blaming victims: Psychologist Melvin Lerner observed the just-world phenomenon, a common tendency to assume victims must deserve to be victims rather than believe bad things happen to good people. The worse the tragedy is, the worse we tend to think the victim must be, so when Hannibal Lecter mutilates and eats not only a person who offended him but also his victim's spouse, human nature motivates us to think the worst of that relative as well.
Freedom: Superpowered characters enjoy freedoms the rest of us don't. Nobody can arrest Superman unless he lets them (at least not without kryptonite handcuffs). Even while sitting in prison, Will Smith's superhuman protagonist in the movie Hancock is as free as he chooses to be. As much time as supervillains spend locked up, they seem to escape as often as they please, to run unconstrained by rules and regulations. Cosplayers who dress like Wonder Woman and Captain America can't do any crazy thing that crosses their minds without seeming to mock and insult our heroes, whereas those dressed as villains get to go wild. Supervillainy feels liberating.
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December 23rd, 2018, 14:40
@Alrik Fassbauer

There is also Beelzlebub, mentioned towards the end of the Baal article you linked.
Whatever it is, the "vilifying" of the name Baal is not a modern thing.

Also, you mentioned Aztec gods.
The reason why Blizzard did not go with those, is that they do not fit into the setting.
The Diablo lore is mostly inspired by a Christian religion and let's say "central european" folklore. I guess that's no surprise, many devs go that direction, especially with a western target audience.

Of course, Blizzard could have used some Aztec name for the boss of act 3 in Diablo 2, as this act is somewhat Aztec (or Mayan?) influenced (the monsters, the architecture). They chose Mephisto instead. I guess, while some Aztec god would have fit the setting of that act, he would have stood out when considered in the context of the other acts.
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December 23rd, 2018, 22:15
Thanks for the late reply.

On the site of TV Tropes I found an article which beats a similar chord like what I had been writing on the concept of "fun" in games : https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfFun


Edit : Found another interesting article on TV Tropes : "In America : Kirby is hardcore" : https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p…irbyIsHardcore

When a Japanese game is released Stateside, there's a tendency to make the box art, or even the character models, a little more hardcore. Maybe it's as simple as adding Angry Eyebrows, or maybe the character's model is completely redone. This is often done to characters who were originally intended to be cute. Sometimes this trope goes the other way, too: an American character may be made cuter for the Japanese release.

This has to do with Values Dissonance. Japanese culture, in general, is very accepting of cuteness anyplace, and will take it in stride. American culture, to the contrary, is very accepting of manliness. In a hard contrast to the Japanese, Americans often view cuteness as a sign of childishness and immaturity, and thus has a strong aversion to it in any media that's not explicitly kid-oriented.

Another article : "A real man is a killer" : https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p…alManIsAKiller

Also from there : The "Video Game Cruelty Potential" : https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p…ueltyPotential

"Everyone owns a Mac" : https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p…eryoneOwnsAMac

"Trolling Creator" : https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p…rollingCreator
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December 25th, 2018, 15:07
Sometimes, I wish, an offline singleplayer game would get as many new content patches as an MMO gets …
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January 14th, 2019, 14:51
Oh my, I've been writing such a long thing again …

Source : The SWTOR forums :

There's an interesting thread called

Ludonarrative Dissonance and the Dismantlement of the Iconic Class Identities

which is in fact a topic that I think I have never seen discussed here at RPGWatch so far.

I mean, "Ludonarrative Dissonance" , has this ever been discussed here ? I do not remember.


And this is what I wrote :



Originally Posted by Lhancelot View Post
Entertainment has come to this. CGI has only exacerbated the lack of depth to not only games but movies too. I mean, how many modern movies are as interesting and character driven as the movie Slingblade?

Slingblade worked with paltry funds, has zero special effects in it, and I find that movie watchable even now 20+ years after it was made.
I was looking at one of my favourite movies of the recent years - and yes, these days I mostly view only animated movies anymore [gramnmar ?] - "How to train your dragon".

Only after watching it I realized that it is one of the very few movies I've even seen in recent times WITHOUT having a violent conflict in narrative. It's even so that the protagonist doesn't have any kind of conflict at all - the movie is more or less kind of an psychological study. Relationship between manly father and unmanly son.

Don't know about the other two movies of that series.

I mean, it's a Dragon movie, and Dragons are all about nothing but POWER, aren't they ? I mean, in Fantasy, Dragons are normally used as examples of ultimate power. Nothing is as powerful as a Dragon in Fantasy. Nothing. At. All.
And that movie is about Dragons, but NOT about power. Curious.

I guess the metrics indicate that the majority of people crave intense, battle-driven thematic scenes and so that's what we mostly get now from the big studios. There's usually little substance, but tons of action and these movies are pulling in the most money.
The older I become, the less I understand whatz's so interesting with movies like Transformers, or Avengers and with Superheroes in general. Even as a kid, I found Superheroes boring, but maybe that's because I grew up with Asterix, Lucky Luke, Tintin, Nick Knatterton …

My current theory is that it really is an example of … movies for extroverts vs. movies for introverts. I don't have any other way of explaining what I see.
I once read that the U.S. society is a society in which being extrovert is something positive, something wanted. Maybe that's part of what made the fascination of the film "Rain Man". Maybe that's part of what's making people use "Autism" as an insult these days.
In an newspaper, I recently read an excerpt from an Autobiography (is this the right word ?) of an medicine scientist, one of the best brain experts of the world, the article said, about his failing to understand his autistic son.

During that excerpt, there was one remarkable passage : That he was using "scans" (don't remember the exact word for that anymore) to test for sensitivity. The result was, that the sensitivity of his autisic son was exeeding anything normal. Only then he realized 2 things : That his try to acclimatize his son to normal living by bringing him into loud, noisy towns with lots of smells, lots of people etc. had been overwhelming his son. That his autistic behaviour was hos try to shut out the whole world of "it's just too much OF EVERYTHING", to say it in my words.
The second thing he realized was that probably all autists are THAT over-sensitive.

So, Autists seem to suffer from the extrovert world, which is very much non-sensitive (the German language has invented the insulting word of "noticing-free", meaning "free of the ability to notice anything detailed").

From this perspective, the insult "he / she is autistic", often read in the PvP forums, gets another drive. It's the insult - or so it appears to me now - of rather extrovert people who cannot cope with the fact that someone os not extrovert - and especially not adhering to extrovert society structures.

Introvert people might make up half of society, but in a society with a bias towards extrovertism (does this word really exist ?) , they are just not seen, they are a mninority, because to please them, much more substance would have to be put into movies, much more effort into details -> and the more money that's needed to spend, the less the profits are.

So, in the end, and this is my current theory, it's a matter of
extrovert movie -> less money spent = more profits
introvert movie -> more money spent = less profits
that locks out part of society. With games, with movies, with media in general. And let's hope it doesn't affect school too.
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February 10th, 2019, 15:24
Credit Card companies rejoice ! Kickstarter backing is ONLY possible via credit cards ! More customers for credit card companies !
( Implicitely : Those Kickstarter Editions are in fact nothing but Credit Card Exclusive Editions … )
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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 23rd, 2019, 14:50
I hope you don't mind if I use your thread for a moment.

I think I'm getting old. I find myself playing only adventure games at the moment. I used to switch between RPGs and adventures, but somehow Mass Effect has ruined most RPGs for me.
Let's say you want to go to the bakery to get a loaf of bread. Unfortunately, that baker's got a problem with thugs who want to ruin his business. So they're blocking the way down the street, and there's a whole army of them. And when you've finally made it, the baker gives you a free muffin as a thank you. Yeah! A whole muffin for a hundred dead foes.
At least you can walk home in peace, right? No, because your nemesis has heard of the fight, so he's found out where you are and is waiting for you with another army of thugs. Happy fighting all your way back home!
Make the entire game like that, because people love combat. They can't get enough of it, can they?

Well, I can. I've been tired of fighting ever since I've played the first two Mass Effect games. So most RPGs feel like an endless line of combat to me now. I haven't finished Divinity: Original Sin 1 because there seems to be a combat at every crossroad. I haven't finished Dragon Age: Origins because of all that combat. I'm even getting tired of fighting in Pathfinder: Kingmaker, though it's not really that full of combat.
On the other hand The Witcher was absolutely no problem at all. I know, it's just me, isn't it? Why don't I get over it? Are so many RPGs these days really that stuffed with combat in comparison to Baldur's Gate? They all feel like Icewind Dale to me, when it comes to the number of encounters.
I hope that The Outer Worlds and Cyberpunk 2077 will feel different. At least the combat there won't take forever.
What is wrong with me? I used to love tactical combat, exploring new worlds and going on treasure hunts. No the permanent combat's overshadowing everything.
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February 23rd, 2019, 14:57
Well, people's taste tend to change over time…

I enjoyed the hell out of Pathfinder: Kingmaker but I can relate with you in a sense I prefer the games with shorter combat encounters (or even better if you can bypass it with persuasion checks etc).
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